The UK Ancestral visa entitles a person who has a grandparent born in the UK, to gain entry to the UK. The visa will permit you to take up or seek employment and eventually settle in the UK.
The main advantage of the UK Ancestral visa is that there are no work restrictions. At the end of a five-year period on this visa, you can qualify to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain.
How to qualify for the UK Ancestral Visa
You must be 17 years of age or older with a grandparent born in the UK or they can also apply for the UK Ancestry visa if they are adopted or if the parent through whom they are claiming ancestry is an adopted child. It is however not possible to claim UK ancestry through step-parents.
Spouses and dependents of the UK Ancestral holder
An Ancestry visa holder can apply for their spouse, civil partner, unmarried partner and dependent children if they are under 18 to join them in the UK. The dependents will be granted the same period of leave as the main applicant. They will also be able to work without restriction.
The visa is granted for a period of five years and in order to be eligible to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain, the applicant must be able to provide evidence that they have been working during the five years of their UK Ancestry visa plus have not been out of the UK for more than 450 days in the 5 year period.
At the end of the successful completion of a five-year period on a UK Ancestral visa, the holder can apply for permanent residence, also known as Indefinite Leave to Remain.
EEA Family Permit
Any EU citizen taking up residence in the UK in accordance with the EU regulations can bring their family with. The EEA family permit or visa is valid for six months. The permit allows the holder to enter and leave the UK as many times as he/she needs to. The Family Permit’s holder can take up employment in the UK.
Without an EEA family permit, entry into the UK can be refused.
After arriving in the UK, it is possible to apply for an EU residence card. This card confirms the person’s right of residence in the UK and is valid for 5 years.
It is not compulsory to apply for a residence card. It will however, make it easier to prove your right to live and work in the UK. Note that extended family members must apply for the residence card.
How to qualify for the EEA Family Permit
It is possible to qualify for the EEA Family Permit if you are a family member or an extended family member of an EEA citizen coming to the UK.
To qualify as a direct family member, you must be the EEA citizen’s spouse or civil partner, or the child or grandchild under 21 of the EU national or his spouse/civil partner. Dependent parents, grandparents, children or grandchildren over 21 (of the EU national or his spouse) can qualify at any age as long as they can prove to be financially dependant on the EU sponsor.
The Settlement visa is available to non-EU who wish to come to the UK to live with their spouse who is either a British citizen holds Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK or has a permanent right of residence under the Immigration (EEA) Regulations 2006
How to qualify
In order to qualify you will have to show that you are married to a person present and settled in the United Kingdom, or one who is currently being admitted for settlement. You will need to show that you intend to live permanently with your spouse and that your marriage is subsisting.
In order to qualify the applicant and the applicant’s spouse must be 18 years or older.
A minimum income threshold of £18,600 is required in order to sponsor the settlement of the spouse, partner, fiancé or proposed civil partner, with a higher threshold for any children also sponsored: £22,400 for one child and an additional £2,400 for each further child.
You will entitled to apply for indefinite leave to remain after you have lived in the UK for five years, provided that you can prove you satisfy the criteria for the spouse status at the end of this period.
Sole Representative Visa
The Sole Representative Visa allows an overseas companies to send one key individual to the UK. This individual can then establish a UK branch or wholly owned subsidiary for the overseas company.
How to qualify for the Sole Representative Visa
The applicant must be a senior employee, intending to be employed full time, with full authority to take operational decisions on behalf of the overseas firm. The applicant’s presence in the UK must be to establish and operate a registered branch or wholly owned subsidiary of the overseas firm. The applicant has to have extensive related industry knowledge and experience.
The visa holder is allowed to be a shareholder in the overseas firm, but may not be a majority shareholder and must be employed with the company longer than 12 months.
Spouses and dependants of the Sole Representative
The spouse, civil partner or unmarried partner and any dependent children may apply to join the main applicant in the UK.
The dependents will receive the same period of leave as the main applicant. They will be able to work without restriction in the UK.
Length of stay and right to work
The Sole Representative visa is granted for an initial period of three years. It is possible to apply for an extension of an additional two years.
The visa holder can only work for the overseas office. He/she may not engage in self-employment or work for another company. If the sole representative arrangement ends, the visa holder has to leave the UK.
Tier 1 Entrepreneur
The Tier 1 Entrepreneur category allows applicants who need to invest in the United Kingdom by setting up, or take over, and being actively involved in the running of one or more businesses in the UK.
How to qualify for Tier 1 Entrepreneur
The applicant has to be 16 years or older. If the applicant is younger than 18 years of age, there are specific requirements that need to be fulfilled by the applicant’s parent/s or legal guardian, regarding the support of the application.
It is possible to form an entrepreneurial team with one other Tier 1 Entrepreneur applicant. The investment funds can thus be shared, subject to strict criteria.
There are different eligibility requirements depending on whether you have access to investment funds of £50,000 or £200,000.
You must have access to at least £200,000 in investment funds; This money must either be;
- Your own.
- Made available to you by third parties.
- In a joint account with your spouse or partner, but only if they are also applying for the Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa.
You must have access to at least £50,000 investments funds. This funds must be in one or more regulated financial institution. It must also be disposable on business in the UK. The £50,000 investments funds must be from one of the following sources;
- A UK entrepreneurial seed funding competition, endorsed by the Department of International Trade.
- A UK Government department that is making the funds available for the purposes of setting up or expanding a UK business, or
- A venture capital firm registered with the Financial Conduct Authority.
Length of stay and right to work for the Tier 1 Entrepreneur
The Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa is granted for a period of three years and four months. Thereafter, the applicant can apply for an extension of stay of two years. He/she has to fulfill all the relevant, strict requirements for the extension.
You cannot take up employment other than working for the business or businesses established, joined or taken over.
Spouses and dependents of a Tier 1 Entrepreneur
You can apply for your spouse /civil partner /unmarried partner and dependent children to join you in the UK.
The dependents will receive the same period of leave as the main applicant. They will be able to work without restriction in the UK.
Tier 1 Entrepreneur and Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK
At the end of successful completion of a five-year period on a Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa the holder can qualify to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain.
Entrepreneurs may be able to settle sooner should the applicant manage to create 10 jobs. For example, three job positions during the first year, three during the second and four during the third year or have a turnover of £5 million in 3 years.
This category is for persons coming to the UK with a skilled job offer that cannot be filled by a resident worker. It is also available to applicants coming to the UK to fill a position on the Shortage Occupation List.
There is an annual limit on the number of Certificates of Sponsorship available under Tier 2 (General). Also known as Restricted Certificates of Sponsorships.
Tier 2 (Minister of Religion)
This category is for persons coming to the UK as a Minister of Religion, Missionary or Member of a Religious Order. These persons must in every case take up employment within their faith community in the UK
Tier 2 (Sportsperson)
This category is for elite sportspersons and coaches whose employment will make a significant contribution to UK sport at the highest level.
Tier 2 Intra-Company Transfer
This category is for employees of multi-national companies who are transferred to a skilled job in a UK branch of the organisation.
How to qualify as a Tier 2
To qualify as a Tier an applicant must have a skilled job offer and a Certificate of Sponsorship from a licensed UK sponsor.
The Certificate of Sponsorship is a virtual document, with a unique reference number. It contains information about the job for which it has been assigned to, as well as personal details of the applicant.
Applicants need to score at least 70 points to qualify under the criteria for Tier 2. The points will include points related to the Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS). The CoS will be issued to them by the prospective UK employer in regards to a suitable position of employment that qualifies for Tier 2 sponsorship.
Spouse and dependents of Tier 2
A Tier 2 permit holder can apply for their spouse, civil partner, unmarried partner and dependent children to join them in the UK.
The dependents will receive the same period of leave as the main Tier 2 applicant. They will be able to work without restriction in the UK.
Length of stay for Tier 2
If you meet the requirements of Tier 2 (General) category, you will receive leave for up to five years. It is possible to extend your total stay for up to six years in this category.
Tier 2 Indefinite Leave to Remain
At the end of successful completion of a five-year period as Tier 2 Skilled Worker, the holder will qualify to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain. Note, however, that the Tier 2 Intra-Company Transfer route does not lead to Indefinite Leave to Remain.
Minimum Earning Threshold Exemptions
You will also have to satisfy the Minimum Income Threshold. You have to earn the minimum annual earning threshold. Or the going rate for the relevant occupation, whichever is the higher.
The minimum earning thresholds for Indefinite Leave to Remain applications are:
£35,000 if you apply for settlement on or after 6 April 2016.
£35,500 if you apply for settlement on or after 6 April 2018.
£35,800 if you apply for settlement on or after 6 April 2019.
£36,200 if you apply for settlement on or after 6 April 2020.
£36,900 if you apply for settlement on or after 6 April 2021.
£37,900 if you apply for settlement on or after 6 April 2022.
Tier 4 Student Visa
The Tier 4 Student visa allows overseas students to take advantage of the highly sought UK educational opportunities.
How to qualify for the Tier 4 Student Visa
Non-EEA nationals qualify to apply for the Tier 4 (General) student visa to study in the UK and applicants have to be 16 years or older.
You will have to have a place on a study course. This offer of a place will be in the form of an electronic Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies. This is a Unique Reference Number (CAS) from the Tier 4 licensed education provider.
You will have to have enough funds to pay for the course and to support yourself. The amount will depend on your specific circumstances. Circumstances can include; the length of the course and the location of the educational institution.
You have to prove that you can speak, read, write and understand English. You can fulfil this requirement in more than one way. The level of English required will depend on the degree level of your studies.
When can I apply for my Tier 4 Student Visa
It is only possible to apply for the Student Visa three months before the start of your study course.
You can arrive in the UK one week before your course starts if the course is six months or less. If the course is longer than six months, you can arrive in the UK one month before.
You have to apply for your Tier 4 student visa no more than six months after receiving your Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies.
Tier 4 Students and the UK Immigration Health Surcharge
If you are applying for a UK visa for a period of longer than six months, you have to pay the UK Immigration Health Surcharge.
Length of stay and right to work of a Tier 4 Student Visa
The Tier 4 Student visa will normally be granted for as long as the course for which the confirmation of acceptance of studies (CAS) has been granted.
The Home Office makes it clear that the Tier 4 Student visa is to study in the UK. In cases where work is permitted, the intention must only be to supplement the income of the student.
The working hours a student is allowed to work will depend on when the student applied for the student visa, the course type, and the type of sponsor.
Normally, a student will be limited to working 20 hours a week during term time if studying a course at degree level or above, and full time during vacations. If the student is studying a course below degree level, the working hours will be limited to 10 hours per week during term time, and full time during vacations.
Spouses and dependents of Tier 4 Student Visa holders
The student can apply to bring a dependent to the UK if he/she is;
- Sponsored by a higher education institution on a course at level 7 on the Ofqual register or above, lasting for 1 year or longer, or
- A new government-sponsored student on course lasting for six months or longer, or
- A student on a Doctorate Extension Scheme.
Dependents include your spouse, civil partner, unmarried or same-sex partner, and your children under the age of 18 years old. If you apply for dependents to join you in the UK, you will have to show that you can support them in the UK.
UK Visitor Visa
The UK Visitor Visa allows a person from outside the European Economic Area or Switzerland, to visit the UK for up to six months consecutively in a one year period.
The UK visitor visa allows a person to take a holiday, visit family, attend business meetings or study up to 30 days.
You are not allowed to work and get paid for the work undertaken, cannot through frequent visits to the UK basically live in the UK or have access to UK Public Funds
It is also possible to apply for long-term visit visas if you travel to the UK regularly. These visas are valid for 2, 5 or 10 years. However, note that you are only allowed to stay a maximum of 6 months during any given year.
You can only apply for the UK Visitor Visa 3 months before you travel to the UK.
UK Transit Visas
Direct Airside Transit Visas – NOT exiting UK Immigration Control
If you are not going through the UK Immigration Control, you can apply for a Direct Airside Transit Visa.
Visitor in Transit Visa – Going through UK Immigration Control
If you are going through UK Immigration Control, and will be leaving the UK within 48 hours, you can apply for a Visitor in Transit Visa.
If you are travelling to the Republic of Ireland, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man, you will need to apply for a UK Visitor Visa.
UK Marriage Visitor Visa
The UK Marriage Visitor Visa is a type of visitor visa that allows one to get married in the United Kingdom. The visa is thus primarily for getting married in the UK.
You are not allowed to apply or switch into any other permit while on a Marriage Visitor visa. If your intention is to move to the UK, you have to return to your country of residence and apply for new entry clearance to the UK.